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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Friday, 19 October, 2001, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Stagurskaya gets drugs ban
Top cyclist Zinaida Stagurskaya has been banned for four months by her sport's world governing body after failing a dope test.

Italy-based Stagurskaya won the road race at last year's world championships in France.

The 31-year-old from Belarus tested positive for diuretic substance fintermine at the women's Giro d'Italia in July this year.

She went on to win the overall title.

Vladimir Kaminsky, secretary-general of the Belarus Cycling Federation, said: "Stagurskaya will be eligible to return to cycling next February.

"The initial test came up negative, but then it was sent to the Italian anti-doping laboratory in Rome where they checked it again and reversed the decision.

"Taking it into account, we first decided against suspending the rider, giving her a warning and a 100 Swiss Francs (425) fine.

"But the International Cycling Union (UCI) disagreed and handed her a stiffer penalty."

The UCI announced its decision to suspend Stagurskaya at the world cycling championships in Lisbon earlier this month, thus making it impossible to defend her title.

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